Upward Bound House, a Santa Monica-based provider of housing and services for homeless families with children, was awarded just over $1 million by the First 5 L.A. Commission in support of homeless families, officials with the agency said.

The funds will be used to provide short-term rental assistance and subsidies to homeless families with children under the age of 5.

“These funds … will be transformative to the families we serve,” said David Snow, executive director of Upward Bound House. “The families we serve have fallen on hard times and need just a little bit of help to get on their feet. This grant will allow us to provide that extra assistance and ensure they don’t relapse back into homelessness.

One of the greatest challenges in ending family homelessness in Los Angeles County is the lack of affordable housing, Snow said.

The rental assistance program began as a demonstration project two years ago with funding from L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who represents Santa Monica. He is the chairman of the First 5 commission and was the leading advocate for the initiative.

“One homeless child in the street is too many,” he said.

There are more than 6,000 homeless children throughout the county, and that number has doubled in the past two years, officials said.

For more information about Upward Bound House, visit  www.upwardboundhouse.org.

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